I absolutely love travelling with my partner and my friends – but sometimes I like to travel solo. I first did this when I was 20 years old and went to university in Australia as part of a study abroad program, and it was exhilarating. From there I also did a little bit of solo travel around New Zealand and South East Asia.
Nowadays we’re all queuing up to enjoy the perks of holidaying by ourselves as well as meeting like-minded people with whom we share a mutual interest. However there are a few tasks that we believe all solo travellers should master. Having an emergency plan in place for if you get sick, heaving suitcases that weigh a ton off the carousel and making sure that you’re not a victim of dodgy pickpockets or scammers trying to sell you ‘authentic’ precious jewellery or knock off ‘designer’ bags.
How To Cope With Luggage Alone
When you’re travelling alone, your luggage needs to be very manageable as not everyone will be happy to lift something, or even look after your bags just while you ‘nip to get some water’ so you should work out bathroom breaks and kiosk purchases beforehand.
For example use the facilities before you collect your luggage, or, if you’ve got hand luggage, see if the accessible toilets are free as you’ll have extra room to move about. While on public transport wedge your bags into the corner of the luggage rack, no one will steal heavy bags that are too awkward to reach.
What To Do If You Get Sick
This is probably the issue that puts most people off singles holidays, but it’s easy to navigate if you know how. Become super friendly with hotel staff that way if you do fall ill you can call down to reception, those on duty will then be sure to check in on you regularly and bring you anything you may need. It also means that should you not improve they’ll arrange for a doctor to visit as well and help gather your travel documents in case you need to go into hospital.
How to Avoid Expensive Accommodation
A survey by an insurance company has shown that 74% of people have chosen to use Airbnb when travelling alone to avoid extra charges. The study conducted by holiday home insurance company, Schofields Insurance, revealed more about their accommodation preferences when travelling alone. The survey showed that:
- 44% have stayed in an Airbnb property
- 18% have stayed in hostels
- 65% have stayed in hotels
- Out of those who stayed alone in a hotel, 78% had been quoted an extra single person supplement.
- 74% of those staying in an Airbnb property did so to avoid extra charges levied by hotels.
- Hostels appealed to 35% solo travellers because they liked the communal aspect, whereas 29% chose them solely because they were cheaper than other options.
Snap Perfect Pictures Without Help
If you know you’re going on holiday alone; then the best bet for taking photos will probably be a selfie stick or something similar. If you aren’t a fan of selfies, then try rotating the camera to face you, holding it at arm’s length as far away as you can and then taking a picture.
Failing that you can ask someone to take a picture for you so look for people who’re friendly, with others and speak some English. Approach someone who has a better phone, or camera, than yourself as this way they probably won’t want to steal something so basic, compared to their own, and they probably know how to take a decent picture too.
How To Dine By Yourself In Restaurants
Many travellers feel uncomfortable about dining alone but it needn’t be the social nightmare people think it is. Don’t pretend you have someone coming because it’ll just be awkward for you and the staff when no one turns up. Just request a ‘table for one’ which is common in many European cities anyway.
You’ll get used to it. Enjoy your meal while reading a best-seller, glossy magazine. Alternatively, do something productive such as planning the next route, catching up on their travel blog or writing emails and or postcards home. This means they’re busy but not completely unapproachable if anyone wants to start a conversation.